It's all My Fault
Isabo Burns was the oldest child of a family of five. Her younger twin brothers, Jack and Joseph, had always been a pain, as had her parents, who liked to nag about everything. Sometimes Isabo just wished that they would leave her alone forever. But when she finally gets that wish, is it all she ever wanted or the worst time of her life?
"Why not? What is so hard about reading that damn book?" My dad yelled from the back seat, where he sat between m younger twin brothers, Jack and Joseph.
We were on the trip back to Maryland from Florida, only about two minutes from our house. I couldn't wait til we got there because then I could escape my family in the seclusion of my room.
Let's just say it had been a very long car ride from Florida.
Dad was driving me nuts, trying to get me to read some stupid book by a famous scientist. I hadn't so far because I was on spring break for a reason: to actually have a break.
I heard Grandma cough lightly from the seat behind me, and I could see the wry grin Granddad's face as he looked out of the window.
"Mom..." My mom said warningly from the passenger seat.
I shook my head, turning on the right blinker and checking all around before easing the van from the far left lane into the middle lane.
This is so dumb...there's no way I'm reading that book.
After stopping at the red light, I turned and glanced at my dad. "Daddy, I don't want to read it! Thatâ€™s the kind of stuff I read in school! On spring break I want to read what I want to read!"
Daddy glared at me. "You'll do as I tell you young lady, or you'll-"
"AAAAAAHHH!!!" Identical screams filled the car as I felt the van be jolted forward into the intersection.
My heart had leapt into my throat and I could hear my family's screams mingling with the screeching of brakes.
"Oh my God, oh my God, OH MY GOD!" This time the screams were coming from my lips as the van got hit on both sides, the one on the right side swinging around to hit Granddad's door after crashing head on into Mommy's door.
The car groaned, and then I could only hear the screeching of brakes and the slamming of doors.
A car accident...what the hell? What is going on?
My breath came out in ragged breaths, my hands shaking uncontrollably as I tried to unbuckle my seatbelt. "M-Mommy? Daddy?" Silence. "Guys?!"
I turned to face where my mom had been sitting in the passenger seat, my body filling with a sense of dread.
Then my jaw dropped open as if I was screaming, but no sound left my mouth.
Oh my God, NO! NOOOOO!! This canâ€™t be real. Nononononononono!!
I looked all the way in the back of the van, towards Grandma and Granddad and Daddy and Jack and Joseph.
Then I really did scream.
"MOMMY!! DADDY! JACK! JOSEPH! GRANDMA, GRANDAD!" My screams grew louder and louder, and my face had become soaked with tears without my even noticing.
My hands snatched my cell phone up from the floor, where it must have fallen off of the console in the crash.
I have to get help, I have to get help, I have to get help!!
I heard strangled sobs and yells escaping my lips, but it was like it wasn't me. It was all so surreal, as if I had just been put in a really bad part of a movie.
My thumb stumbled onto the "Call" button, and I hit the word "Liza", who was my best friend.
Why I didn't call 911, I had no idea.
Lifting the phone to my ear with my right hand, I went to open the door with my left hand.
But try as I might, the door wouldn't budge, smashed in as it was. The window had millions of tiny cracks spidering across the glass, and I could see people running to and fro outside.
"Hey, Bo, you home from your vacation yet?" Eliza Jane's loud voice rang in my ear. I heard her pop her gum. "Cuz you and I have to-"
"Liza, you have to help me!" I burst out, looking around me, half-sobbing and half-screaming. "I was driving and got hit from behind and now I'm stuck and my family's- my family's-"
"Woah, Bo, okay, calm down, where are you?" Eliza Jane cut me off, her voice deadly serious, no longer carefree and cheerful.
"I-I'm at the intersection ri-right by o-our houses..." I sobbed into the phone. "B-by the Wal-Walgreens. Liza, they're not moving!"
"Bo, stay calm, Mom and I are already on our way there, okay? Bo, you're gonna be fine, okay?" Eliza Jane's voice was getting higher and higher as she rambled, and I heard other voices in the background.
I could hear my sobs grow louder and louder in my ears. "Liza, what do I do?! Th-they're not- OH MY GOD!!"
I had broken off and screamed because I'd heard a sudden banging on my window.
I jumped a foot in the air and screamed again when I saw Jake and Ryan Davis's faces pressed up against the cracked window. Behind them I could see Caleb Johnson pacing while talking on a cell phone.
"Bo, it's just us, Bo!" Jake said loudly, while Ryan inspected the window. "Just try and calm down, we're going to get you out of there, okay?"
I shook my head frantically, my eyes darting around the interior of the van, seeing shattered glass, blood, crumpled doors, random items from or vacation strewn all over everything.
"I do-don't know wh-what's going on!" I cried, tears streaming down my face, my phone slipping out of my hand and falling to the floor of the van without my even noticing. "They-they're not moving, Jake-"
"Bo. Look at me."
I found myself listening to the voice, turning to look at Jake again, my chin trembling and my throat full of tears that would be shed, of that I was sure.
"Bo, we're going to get you out." Jake said firmly, holding his hand up to the window, his blue eyes looking at me seriously. "You're going to be all right. Do you understand?"
I nodded numbly, and then I heard Ryan mutter, "Got it!"
Then the door was opening and I was tumbling out, falling into Jake's arms and beginning to cry in earnest.
What is going on? What even happened?
It was a few minutes before I realized that Jake, Ryan, and Caleb were all trying to get my attention.
"Bo. Bo, are you hurt?" Jake was asking me loudly, bending down a bit and trying to peel my hands away from my face.
I shook my head, feeling a fresh wave of tears surfacing. "No, Jake, no, I'm not. My family's going to be okay, right?"
Jake just looked away, exchanging a look with Ryan and Caleb, who looked uncomfortable. "I-I don't know, Bo."
"They are going to be all right, aren't they, Jake?" I asked desperately, my voice raising louder and louder, a panicked tone consuming my speech. "Where are the po-"
I realized then that we were already surrounded by the sounds of sirens and then the screeching of brakes- I was really beginning to hate that sound- and the slamming of doors followed by shouting.
"What are they doing to my family?" I asked frantically, trying to see over Jake's shoulder. "They're going to be okay, right?"
"Bo, I don't know-" Jake tried to keep me from moving, but I dodged under his arm and dashed towards the police, who I could see were crowded around my car. "BO!"
I was almost to the car when I was intercepted by two men in firefighter uniforms.
"Hey, hey, hey, you can't go over there." One of them said, holding his arms out and barring my path. I couldn't even see his face; I was so blinded by tears. It didn't help that he was wearing one of those firefighter hats.
"You don't understand, that's my family. I need to be there when they get them out of the car!" I shouted hysterically, trying to get past the two men that were over a foot taller than me.
"No, you need to stay here, sweetheart-"
At that exact moment, I had managed to see over the man's shoulder. And I didn't see the police officers helping my family out of the car and onto stretchers.
They were being pulled out of the car, not one of them moving, and being put into body bags.
That's when I stopped functioning.
I stopped fighting the firefighters, feeling my legs give out beneath me as a harsh scream spilled out of my lips, ripping at my already raw throat.
I stopped hearing everything around me, vaguely seeing Jake, Ryan, Caleb, and Liza crowding around me, their mouths moving frantically as if they were shouting.
I tried to smile at them. I tried to make them believe I was okay.
But I knew that that would be a lie.